Bumble bees of North America An identification guide

Paul Williams

Book - 2014

This guide allows amateur and professional naturalists to identify all 46 bumble bee species found north of Mexico and to understand their ecology and changing geographic distributions.

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Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press c2014.
Main Author
Paul Williams (author)
Other Authors
Robbin W. Thorp, 1933- (-), Leif Richardson, Sheila Colla
Physical Description
208 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (page 203) and index.
  • Introduction
  • Observing Bumble Bees
  • Attracting Bumble Bees
  • Bumble Bee Forage Guide by Ecoregion
  • Maps and Seasonal Activity
  • Bumble Bee Decline and Conservation
  • Threats to Bumble Bees
  • Natural Enemies
  • Mimicry
  • Distinguishing Bumble Bees from Other Insects
  • Bumble Bee Names and Classification
  • How to Use This Book to Identify Bumble Bee Species
  • Species Accounts
  • Square- Or Long-Cheeked Bees with a Rounded Angle on the Midleg
  • Bombus vosnesenskii
  • Bombus caliginosus
  • Bombus vandykei
  • Bombus impatiens
  • Bombus bimaculatus
  • Bombus perplexus
  • Bombus vagans
  • Bombus sandersoni
  • Bombus jonellus
  • Bombus frigidus
  • Bombus mixtus
  • Bombus ternarius
  • Bombus huntii
  • Bombus sylvicola
  • Bombus melanopygus
  • Bombus bifarius
  • Bombus centralis
  • Bombus flavifrons
  • Bombus sitkensis
  • Bombus polaris
  • Bombus balteatus
  • Bombus neoboreus
  • Bombus hyperboreus
  • Short-Cheeked Bees with a Rounded Angle on the Midleg
  • Bombus terricola
  • Bombus occidentalis
  • Bombus cryptarum
  • Bombus franklini
  • Bombus affinis
  • Bombus griseocollis
  • Bombus morrisoni
  • Bombus fraternus
  • Bombus crotchii
  • Bombus rufocinctus
  • Medium- or Long-Cheeked Bees with a Sharp Angle on the Midleg
  • Bombus fervidus
  • Bombus borealis
  • Bombus distinguendus
  • Bombus appositus
  • Bombus pensylvanicus
  • Bombus auricomus
  • Bombus nevadensis
  • Hindleg (Tibia) with the Outer Surface Uniformly Convex and Densely Hairy (Cuckoo Bumble Bees, No Workers)
  • Bombus citrinus
  • Bombus variabilis
  • Bombus insularis
  • Bombus bohemicus
  • Bombus suckleyi
  • Bombus flavidus
  • Identification Keys to Female and Male Bumble Bees, with Photos
  • Glossary
  • Additional Resources
  • Acknowledgments
  • Photo Credits
  • Index
Review by Choice Review

Bumblebees are universally recognized insects. Recent declines in the numbers of honeybees due to colony collapse disorder, pesticides, and disease have heightened interest in the pollination services provided by bumblebees and other natural pollinators in North America. This book by Williams (Natural History Museum, London, UK) and colleagues in the US and Canada is a comprehensive guide to the 46 known species of bumblebees in North America. Introductory chapters provide information on distribution and diversity as well as life cycle, natural enemies, mimicry, preferred forage plants, and ways to attract bumblebees. Since individual species are often polymorphic, both within and between castes of queens, workers, and drones, color plates are provided to facilitate identification. In addition to identification keys and detailed range maps that are commonly found in field guides, the volume includes histograms of the seasonal activity of the three castes, which should be useful in understanding the natural history of a particular species. This reasonably priced, attractive volume with excellent photographs and color plates will be valuable to professionals as well as anyone interested in identifying or learning more about bumblebees. --Richard E. Lee, Miami University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

As bee populations plummet and environmental concerns continue to make the news, there is widespread interest in bees. This attractively priced guide helps users identify the 46 species found north of Mexico and offers insight into their ecology and habitats. Detailed distribution maps, full-color illustrations and photographs, and identification keys accompany brief narrative information and a variety of tables. This guide will be useful in public and academic libraries where there is an interest in bees or the environment.--Vnuk, Rebecca Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Many of us love the furry look of bumblebees, but few of us know them well. Their populations, as with honeybees, are in decline. Bumblebees do not make honey, but they are colonizers and play a crucial role in pollination not just in the wild but as commercially available colonies for greenhouse crops. Williams (research entomologist, Natural History Museum, London), -Robbin Thorp (entomology, emeritus, Univ. of California, Davis), Lief Richardson (doctoral candidate, ecology & evolutionary biology, Dartmouth Coll.), and Sheila Colla (project leader, Wildlife Perservation Canada) identify the 46 species of bumblebee that are found in North America (Mexico is not included), far more than previous guides. The introduction presents clear information on these bees generally, their distribution, colony cycle, and interactions with plants. The authors then outline methods of observing and attracting bumblebees and list by region the plants that bees forage upon. As these bees can look very much alike to the untrained eye, the authors pre-sent schematic illustrations of thorax striping by which to tell them apart, noting when one must look further to an anatomical feature as well. Excellent maps, each of North America in its entirety, have clear color coding to show habitat range and density of population. VERDICT An attractive, worthwhile purchase.-Margaret Heilbrun, Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.